Purchase of pool is unfair to residentsFrom: Donna...

READERS WRITE

September 20, 1992

Purchase of pool is unfair to residents

From: Donna Woodfield

Joppatowne

I am writing to express my outrage on the intentions of the Joppatowne Community Center Inc. to purchase the Joppa Farm Road Swim Club. Their method of purchase is extremely unfair to many Joppatowne residents.

I am not against the pool, I would like to have a pool in Joppatowne. However, I oppose some community club dictating that my property taxes will be directly affected because of their intentions.

I do not want my property subjected to any additional taxes that some center assumes everyone in Joppatowne condones. I will vote against this proposal if I get the opportunity.

No one should have the authority to decide that an entire town gets their property taxed for something only a small amount of people might want.

I urge anyone who feels the involvement of their property taxes should not be decided without their approval to contact the County Council or anyone else they feel can put a stop to this kind of decision-making.

Defends county's recycling program

From: Robert Ernst

Harford recycling coordinator

A letter printed in the Sept. 6 edition of The Harford County Sun, "County needs to revise trash, recycling plans," was an affront to our residents who have risen to the challenge to make Harford County's recycling program the success that it is.

Geoffrey Close's letter is ambiguous and replete with misinformation and erroneous conclusions. These distorted comments, if unchallenged, do great harm to a recycling program that has set a standard for others to follow.

The Harford program is but 90 days old, yet county residents thus far have recycled 10 percent to 12 percent of their solid waste. It is exciting that so many of our citizens have joined voluntarily in the program.

Harford County was indeed late in adopting a recycling program mandated by the state in 1988. When County Executive Eileen Rehrmann took office in December 1990, she immediately directed that a countywide plan be formulated. An exhaustive study and debate followed, and on June 1 of this year, the plan, approved by the County Council and the Maryland Department of the Environment, went into effect. Harford is one of the few jurisdictions to offer countywide curbside pickup of recyclables, a major achievement.

At the same time, the county instituted a $35-a-ton fee to be paid by haulers for every ton of trash taken either to the Waste-to-Energy plant in Magnolia or the county landfill at Scarboro. There is no charge for recyclables. The fee is %o dedicated to providing and maintaining our solid waste disposal facilities. The more we recycle, the less trash we generate.

Mr. Close is wrong in saying there is no tipping fee collection system in place. Since the start of the program, each truck arriving at the waste-to-energy plant or the landfill received a weight ticket of the amount of trash delivered. The accounting system has been installed and tested and haulers have begun to receive their bills.

The success of the county plan is evident in the significant reduction of "raw" trash being delivered to the Scarboro landfill. The charge that there has been no reduction in trash going to the landfill is just not true.

Less than 15 percent of the recyclables picked up by county haulers are being returned as not acceptable. We expect that figure to be reduced by half once we begin the next phase of our education program in October.

During the first months of the program, the emphasis has been on residential curbside pickup. Commercial recycling needs a different approach. Because most commercial recycling needs are unique to each business, a single procedure is just not feasible. Over the next few months we will be contacting individual businesses and business organizations to help them institute a recycling program that will meet their needs.

Many businesses have been actively recycling for years, and we expect the number to rise dramatically as companies come to realize the benefits, both economically and environmentally, that recycling offers.

Mr. Close offered several recommendations which require comment:

* Mandatory recycling is certainly not needed at this time. Harford's citizens have shown they don't need to be forced to recycle. Our citizens continue to demonstrate their concern for the environment.

* The county is not in the recycling business and does not want to be. We are providing a transfer station and transportation of the recyclables to a processing facility for those haulers who need this service. We welcome any initiative by private industry to take over this aspect of the program. The Baltimore Metropolitan Council is examining the feasibility of a regional processing facility.

* Many county-based businesses are recycling now. There is no need to mandate commercial recycling.

* The tipping fee by law is dedicated to funding solid waste and environmental concerns. This fee does not go to any other fund.

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